Renewable energy company looking to set up base at Egmere, near Wells
- Credit: Ian Burt
A renewable energy company is looking to set up a base in a new business park which is being established by a council to bring skilled jobs to north Norfolk.
North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) has been promoting an area of land at Egmere, three miles south of Wells, to businesses working in the burgeoning offshore energy industry.
Earlier this year, the council approved setting aside £1.445m to provide access roads, parking facilities and utility infrastructure on the site, with £450,000 from external funding and £995,000 from NNDC's capital resources.
As part of this, the council is looking to set up a 9000-square foot industrial unit for an offshore energy company, which NNDC leader Tom FitzPatrick said had made a firm expression of interest in the site.
Mr FitzPatrick said he was unable to identify the company at this stage but that it would bring 'a reasonable number' of skilled jobs to the district.
He said: 'This is part of our ongoing work to promote north Norfolk as a great place to do business.
'We need to ensure that local people can benefit from the wind farms being built off our coast.'
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He added: 'The Egmere site is ideally suited for businesses who want to operate from the port of Wells. It is also far enough inland that it doesn't impact on the attractiveness of Wells and its appeal to tourists.'
It is hoped the company could be operating from Egmere by the middle of next year.
Earlier this year NNDC secured Enterprise Zone status for a 1.65 hectare section of land at Edgar Road, Egmere, to attract businesses working in the offshore energy industry.
The council has also secured a simplified planning system for the site through a Local Development Order, which allows offshore energy businesses, which meet certain criteria, to set up there without planning permission.
There are currently approximately 100 people working at the site, employed by Statkraft, which operates the Sheringham Shoal Wind Farm, off the north Norfolk coast.
People working for Carrillion, carrying out onshore cabling works for Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm, have also been based at Egmere.
Mr FitzPatrick said: 'Some people say we will never be able to make north Norfolk a place of industry but look at the great work being done at the Monica Vinader jewellery company at Holkham. That is just one example of the many businesses which are thriving in the district.'
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